Ed Furness (1911-2005)
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005
Ed Furness emigrated with his family to Canada as a child from the United Kingdom. Growing up in Toronto, Ed had a propensity for cartoon illustration and demonstrated this aptitude by graduating from the Ontario College of Art in 1933. Ed was instrumental in developing Freelance, a popular superhero icon for Canadian, and ultimately American, children during the war, by joining forces with writer Ted McCall at Anglo American Publishing in July of 1941.
Furness also drew ‘Commander Steele’ in Grand Slam Comics from 1941 and many other comic book stories. Ed honed his creative talent and ultimately became the lead artist for Anglo American Publishing, having thirteen artists in his stable. The advent of the War Measures Conservation Act coming to an end in 1946 precipitated the demise of the Canadian comics industry and Anglo American made one last ditch effort to distribute their periodicals in the United States in color and failed. Ed closed the doors at Anglo American on one sad day in 1946 and went on to do commercial art and landscape painting.
Biography compiled by Stephen Lipson